Lauren Dodson: The superhero reception teacher

Lauren Dodson is one of the 2,000 #SuperheroTeachers who has gained QTS through Tes Institute.


Lauren began her journey as a teaching assistant. After completing a childcare course she realised that she wanted to be at the front of the class, leading rather than supporting.

Completing her teaching degree at night school allowed Lauren to continue to build her classroom experience while gaining the opportunity to cover teaching along the way.

To help her work towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Lauren found Tes Institute’s Straight to Teaching programme. She says:

“I chose the Straight to Teaching programme because it allowed me to transition smoothly from my current role into teaching. I took on a class and was swiftly given more control until I was a student class teacher.”  


We asked Lauren to share her experience of the programme and her journey to becoming a superhero teacher!


How did you find the programme?

I found the programme manageable. I had, in total, just over a day of time out, during which I planned my lessons with my year group partner, met with my mentor for our weekly meeting, completed my weekly learning diary, completed online sessions, compiled evidence for my portfolio and conducted peer observations. I was often at work until six in the evening, but my weekends were my own.

My mentor and Tes Institute pathway tutor were very supportive. My pathway tutor was very quick replying to any email correspondence we had or through the online learning platform. The Straight to Teaching team were helpful whenever I needed them and kept me regularly updated.


What advice would you give to anyone thinking about Straight to Teaching?

My advice would be to make yourself a timetable and do your best to stick to it.

For example, I had an hour on Thursdays that was set aside for my mentor and I to meet for feedback and then I would complete my learning diary for that week. I would always try to evaluate my lesson observations as soon as possible, so it was fresh in my mind.

I would advise to be prepared for some weeks to be busier than others and you may need to stay later one or two evenings.

If you’re ever struggling, speak to the people around you. Every teacher has gone through some form of training and are used to managing workloads – they were the best resource I had! 


How has Straight to Teaching helped progress your career?

Gaining QTS has been great! It has allowed me to become a reception teacher in the school I qualified with. 

Lauren is just one of the 2,000 #SuperheroTeachers who’ve qualified to teach with Tes Institute. If you’re ready to take on your next challenge and gain your QTS super power, take a look at how you can become a superhero teacher too.